Now & Then


Do you ever come across photographs from just a year or so in the past and think, this couldn’t possibly be the same (fill-in-the-blank) that I am looking at today? 


Well, I happened to be looking for something completely unrelated, but I came across these pictures of my grapevines from sometime during 2015.  It would have been early in the year, say January or February, when everything was still dormant from the winter weather.


The side yard has had some pretty incredible changes, too.  Pretty dramatic, huh?  


I miss Rennie so, so much.  She was a sweet baby.  This Memorial Day weekend will be one year since she was taken from me.  


I was going through a dangerously low period around this time last year and while I can say that I still have a really bad day every 4 days or so, I am in a relatively better head space now.  I am more functional, productive and forward-looking.  The changes in my grape vine pictures are similar to the changes in my outlook: they are stretching upward and outward, towards light and life.  I have too much writing to do to die.    


On that note, I have another article that was published by The today and 6 more that are coming out over the next two weeks or so on:,,, and  

If you’d like to check out the article, here’s the link: In the Mind of a Person With Rapid-Cycling Type I Bipolar Disorder

make sure to “like” it and share it on facebook, , and Pinterest!  


What photos have you recently come across that have demonstrated a dramatic change in something in your life?




5 Reasons Why You Should Start Growing Your Own Stevia At Home


I’ve done posts on Stevia previously, but it’s been a while and, since various versions of the sweetener seem to be available just about everywhere, I thought I’d write a comprehensive post on why it’s best to grow your own.  If you aren’t familiar with it, here’s a quick run-down: The Stevia plant (Stevia rebaudiana) produces sweet-tasting, calorie-free leaves which can be crushed or dried to sweeten foods and beverages naturally.  Stevia can replace sugar in TONS of recipes and is perfect for consumption because it is not metabolized by the body.

Stevia grows best in warm conditions similar to those preferred by Basil.  I live in Florida, so it’s an ideal climate for both Stevia and Basil to proliferate.  Bonus for me, because I’m a fan of both:   

104_2024 Continue reading »


The Garden of Verisimilitude


Between the Easter holiday and copious rain showers, it’s hard to believe we’re not well into the month of April already!  Truly, this year is flying by.

Celebrating Easter isn’t for everyone; some people celebrate the resurrection of The Messiah, others look forward to the arrival of the Easter Bunny.  Some go out for Chinese food.  😉

Whether you put your faith in Christ or Coney, there has to be a modicum of verisimilitude present leading up to that “willing suspension of disbelief” which is, ultimately, what allows a person to go along with an outlandish-sounding story.  This is actually a literary term which was coined in 1817 by Samuel Taylor Coleridge who asserted that if a writer was able to fill his work with a “human interest and a semblance of truth”, the readers would willingly suspend or delay their doubt in relation to the story.

I’m enamored of literary devices.  I’ve been familiar with them since the 6th grade thanks to an extremely talented and valuable English teacher, Diane Tomko, whom I can thank for my love and appreciation for literature and language arts. I use literary devices so often in my writing that I have to actively think of examples simply because I’m not even conscious of using them; it’s second nature.  Verisimilitude is defined as appearing, or having the appearance of, being real or true.  I would venture to say that Jesus is more verisimilitudinous than the bunny–even the Cadbury one.

And if Jesus has verisimilitude, then Adam & Eve do, too.  So maybe they came from the Garden of Verisimilitude.

And speaking of gardens…ahem, here’s a completely natural segway…

Obviously, it’s much too early in the season for anything substantial to report, but there is some preliminary action worth sharing that’s pretty neat! Continue reading »

Grow Your Own: Avocados


Growing your own Avocados takes some patience and planning, but the payoff is well worth it  The indoor-to-outdoor process takes a while and, but before you know it, it’ll be time to move your little

Avocado Tree outside for planting!

*Growing from seeds*



My Florida Avocado Tree: 6 months after planting from seed/pit.  



My Florida Avocado Tree: 12 months after planting from seed/pit.

**Haas Avocado Tree Grown From Seed** 

Updated 5/2016


Continue reading »


We should totally just stab Caesar!


As I am planning out my Springtime garden once again, I’m looking forward to:

Planting Everything

Planting Lettuce    


And as much of everything else as time allows.  🙂


Get started early indoors 

There are 4 distinct types of lettuce: Crisphead, Loosehead, Looseleaf and Romaine.  Within each type of lettuce, there exists many varieties and hybrid varieties.

The fact that Romaine lettuce makes up one quarter of the market share is pretty impressive!  It is my favorite kind of lettuce and I literally eat it every day, without fail.   Romaine hearts are fairly pricey:  a three-pack runs about $2.99-$4.99 depending on Organic status and the grocery store.  At the rate I consume my salads, it could run me upwards of $30 a week…just on one type of lettuce!  And yes, I realize that’s a lot of lettuce.

A brief history of my much-beloved salad staple:

The Romans were also rabid fans of Romaine lettuce and its radiant healthy properties (hence the name). Emperor Caesar Augustus may have been even more obsessed than I am.  He commissioned his craftsman to build a statue in praise of Romaine lettuce.

Kind of makes the whole “Caesar Salad” thing make sense though.

 Or not.

Regardless of whether you can shovel in lettuce around the clock or if you want to provide a delicious and healthy salad for your family, it is INSANELY EASY to grow lettuce without using any pesticides, chemicals or unnatural fertilizers.

First, pick an area (in your yard, on your deck, in a box, with a fox, etc.)  that gets decent sunlight.  We’re talking 6ish hours per day.104_0158

Second, choose the right lettuce type for both your geographic location and culinary preference.  The seed packages have color-coded maps on the back that will tell you how to make an informed decision.

Third, prepare the area you are planning to use for planting.  Lettuce seeds can be sown directly into the ground once spring arrives.  Alternately, you can start the seeds indoors in containers with potting soil.  I did the second option because I was so antsy-in-my-pantsy to get going and the last of our cold weather was not quite over.

Tip: Lettuce seeds are MICROSCOPIC so very carefully and deliberately space them in the ground or in the containers.  Make sure to check the seed package for spacing-specifics.  I used an organic potting soil mix to get the seeds sprouting, and then once they were about 2 inches tall, I transplanted them to an exterior row in my garden.  I chose this spot because it was accessible for weeding and tending a crop so low to the ground and also because the borders of my garden share space with marigolds,  a natural pest repellent.

104_0063104_0061                           Make sure to water your plants.  🙂
104_0065104_0064Harvesting the lettuce is the best part and it is so neat!!  When you are craving some rabbit food, simply walk out your door with kitchen shears and snip what you want, starting with the outside leaves, working your way in.  Since you didn’t use any nasty pesticides, just lightly rinse the dirt off and enjoy.




Resume caring for your plants as you had been.  One day, you will wake up to discover the lettuce leaves have not forsaken you; they do indeed grow back.  At first I suspected black magic, but then I read that both Loose-leaf and Romaine are are “cut and come again” lettuce types. They really do  keep on giving.  Do not pull the lettuce out by the roots unless you are prepared for it to be your last supper,  near the end of the summer.

What questions do you have for me regarding Growing Your Own lettuce?

What is your favorite lettuce type/variety?

What other greens do you enjoy in your salad besides lettuce?

I really like baby kale, too. 


“Scale”-ing Back


On this very rainy Sunday, it was my intention to write about scales; the medical variety.

Instead, I have decided to announce a serious scaling back in terms of blogging.

For a short period of time, posts will be limited to very light and fun updates:

  • Preparing for my Spring Garden

  • Refreshing my Running and Cycling workouts with Pilates!

  • The weekly progress of my Writing Project 🙂

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So the blog has not, and will not, be going anywhere.

I’m just shifting my focus to offline work for now.  The blog is for fun updates and to stay connected throughout the project.

Thank you for sticking with me.


Next Week:  Later this Month: promise.

How to grow your own Avocados at home.